Leon Russell

Delta Lady

Song Review by

A true early-'70s pop/rock classic, "Delta Lady" is probably more well known than Joe Cocker's hit version, as well as his remarkable, extended version on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen album. However, Leon Russell's own excellent version is a great blueprint, combining rock, soul, and a strong gospel energy. A virtual mini-suite, the song contains not only a strong pop verse and powerful rock/gospel chorus, but also a gorgeous, classically inspired bridge. The subject matter of the song is said to be inspired by Rita Coolidge, who was a member of the Mad Dogs vocal chorus. She also inspired several Graham Nash, Kris Kristofferson, and Stephen Stills songs of the period as well, making her one of the heavier artistic muses of the early '70s.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Leon Russell 1970 The Right Stuff 4:05
No Image 1976 DCC Compact Classics
All Day Thumbsucker Revisited 1995
Various Artists
Blue Thumb Records 4:05
Gimme Shelter!: The Best of Leon Russell 1996 EMI Music Distribution 4:02
Retrospective 1997 The Right Stuff / Shelter 4:05
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Image Entertainment
The Best of Leon Russell [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 2001 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 4:05
Signature Songs 2001 Leon Russell Records 3:42
Harley Davidson Southern Road Songs 2001
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 4:07
The Best of Leon Russell 2011 Capitol / EMI 4:02
All Day Thumbsucker Revisited: The History of Blue Thumb Records
Various Artists
Universal / Verve 4:05